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Monday, July 25, 2016

Stuck on the Writer's Block

Hello!!

Today I want to talk about writer's block!
Most of us, as writers, have more than likely experienced the dreaded writer's block... More than once.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the best writer in the world (okay, not really, but I feel like I'm a decent writer, pounding out words and flying through chapters at a mile a minute.) ...And other times, I want to hurl my computer across the room and scream in frustration because I've been staring at the screen for hours and haven't gotten more than one sentence (if that) written. (Self-control, must remember. Self-control.) XD

Pleeeeeease!! I need to know!



It's just about the worst thing for a writer...


So, here's a couple tips I've found helpful when I can't seem to focus or get anything typed out. You probably have heard most of them before, but enjoy reading them again! lol

1. Try writing something else. Sometimes it's good to get your mind off what you've been working on. Find a completely unrelated writing prompt, switch to a different project, or change scenes. Try writing something that will flow easily and get your fingers pounding out word after word. It helps to think about something else after pouring over the same thing for hours

2. Go for a walk. Get out in nature! Breathe in the fresh air and search your mind for new ideas. Sometimes a change of scenery helps. :)

3. Eliminate Distractions. GET OFF THE INTERNET!! I have to admit, I ALWAYS get distracted with Pinterest, social media, or email. "Let me just check this real quick..." Two hours later: "Okay, guess I should get back to work."


I've never actually done this (I probably should sometime), but I've heard a good thing to do is turn off your wifi connection. Then you will HAVE to write! (Or stare at a blank screen for five hours, that works too.) ;P
But get in a quiet place, away from people and noises, and try writing.

4. Read a book! Inspiration can come from so many different places. 

And finally...

5. DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!!!! No matter how easy it may be to want to quit, KEEP ON WRITING. Tell yourself that you will finish this! You can do it!!! *Cheers*

Okay, I think that's about it for today. I really should be writing, but, y'know, I'm sure that can wait. ;)

Have a blessed week, y'all!

~Livi Jane 













Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What to Blog?

Hey guys!

So, I feel really bad for not posting recently... Life's been a little crazy/busy and in the next couple of weeks it'll only get busier, but hopefully I can still find the time to blog! :)

I know I don't have a lot people reading this blog (yet!), but I want to know what you guys think I should start doing posts on, because I always have a terrible time deciding. XD
Should I post about:

  • My daily life
  • Spiritual things (studying bible verses, talking about God, etc.)
  • Writing things (prompts/stories/tips)
  • Tags
  • Something else

I'm sure I will be doing a mixture of those things, but which would you like to see first/more?

Thanks so much! Have an incredibly blessed week!!

Verse of the day:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)



The results of dog-sitting my neighbor's crazy monster dog. He's super sweet, though. <3


~Livi Jane 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pray for America

I'm sure most of you all have heard about all of this craziness going on in our country of late, and it is easy to get caught up in the hype and be frightened by all the things happening around us. 
 
Our pastor posted this on Facebook earlier, and I felt compelled to share it here.
"Proper perspectives for Christians in these moments:
LOVE is the way forward. Ask God's love to flow through you.
PRAYER will move heaven. Truly believe in the power of prayer.
UNITY must be pursued. Don't divide into factions, stay together.
EMPATHY seeks to understand people's pain.
PEACE is given by God. His children are peace makers.
Sometimes people want spiritual leaders to become partial and take their side. True shepherds will always try to unite the body of Christ, bring healing to the hurting, be where the pain is, pursue a path forward in the love of God. I will always challenge you to forgive, have faith, pray, unite, speak in love, pursue peace. Church, the one thing we have flowing through us that those without Christ do not have is the LOVE OF GOD. Don't forget that.
May the LOVE of Jesus Christ conquer the spirit of murder, hatred, strife, and chaos. Saints we are together!"
We as Christians need to unite and share the love of Christ to everyone (at all times, but especially in these tough times). This is the time for Christians to rise up.
"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."
Matthew 24:12,13 (NIV)
So many people are fearful of the things going on around us, and if our hope wasn't fully placed in our Savior Jesus, we too, would be afraid. But we can rest assured knowing that God has everything under control. HE has a plan, and His plan is greater than any plan mankind could come up with.
I encourage you, do not be afraid. God will be with us.              
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will hold you up with my righteous right hand." Isiah 41:10 (NIV)
Let's unite and pray for America together. Pray for the comfort of the families and friends of those who have been killed or affected by the recent goings-on. Pray that the church would rise up and, through all the pain and heartbreak, be a shining light. Our country will never heal until it puts its faith in the Great Healer.

I am believing for revival, a third Great Awakening in America. Who's with me?


Let's keep fighting the good fight, and finish strong.


Love you all! <3

~Livi Jane 










Monday, July 4, 2016

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!

Well, the title says it all. Today is the Fourth of July. A common, just-like-any-other day to a lot of people, but not to Americans!

Happy Fourth of July!

I love this one! :D



For us, today is a very, very important day. A special day for us to remember what happened all those years ago on July 4, 1776.

So what actually happened on that day that was such a momentous occasion?

It wasn't the day the Continental Congress decided to declare independence from Great Britain (that happened on July 2, 1776).

And it wasn't the day the American Revolution started (that happened back in April 1775).

And it wasn't even the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.
(Although there are many disputes about whether or not that is true, the majority of historians believe it was signed on August 2, 1776. Several members, however, did not sign it until a later date, and two others never signed it at all.)

So what is so special about July 4, 1776?

Well, that was the day the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Fifty-six men eventually signed their names at the bottom, knowing as they did so, they were putting their lives at risk. But they were willing to do that, willing to die for the sake of America. That America, their country, would be a free and independent nation.



Also, a little fun fact:
There was a 44-year age difference between the oldest and youngest signers. 
Benjamin Franklin, at 70, was 44 years older than Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time of the signing. Rutledge narrowly beat out his fellow South Carolinian Thomas Lynch Jr. by just four months for the title of youngest signer.

******

All right, so I have a poem I had written a couple of months back, when I was thinking about how far down our nation has gone since the Revolutionary War. Even though we are still a very, very blessed country (and the only country that has been under the same kind of government for this long), I couldn't help but wonder how we as a nation have wandered so far from the beliefs of our forefathers. And that is how this poem came about. I hope you enjoy!


The war may be over, the Revolution won,
But now, centuries later, it seems the battle’s just begun,
What happened to our rights, our liberty, our freedom?
It feels like they're gone, that we’ll never again reach them,
Everything seems hopeless, our government a mess,
In my sorrow I wail, “Will anything ever change, turn out for the best?”
I turn my eyes upwards, gazing out at endless skies,
And I see an eagle soaring by, gracefully flying high,
The eagle, a symbol of strength and freedom,
I watch it soar above the clouds, and again wonder, “How come?”
It suddenly hit me, my mind was cleared,
I recalled a verse in my bible held dear,
I knew right at once what we needed to do,
Fall on our faces and cry out to You,
For so many years we ignored Your name,
We promoted ourselves, we wanted the fame,
We turned away from our forefathers beliefs, their ways,
Expecting to make it on our own, we swayed,
Wicked and evil as these people are now,
Revival is coming, if we just call out,
Pray for the Lord to restore our great nation,
Beg for His mercy, and He will listen,
Then the Star-Spangled Banner will fly proudly again,
We stand for freedom and liberty, we love this land!






Also, here is another military-based short story I had written up for today. If you'd like to read (or reread) one of my other military stories, here are the links to those:

I’ve Got Your Back (‘Til the Wheels Fall Off):
“David!”
I heard myself call out my fellow soldier’s name–the man who’d become my best friend–panic overtaking my voice as I caught sight of his still figure, lying crumpled on the ground. I slid to a stop next to him, ignoring the sound of gunfire going on around us.
“Quinn, get...get out of here,” Dave ordered in a raspy voice as he sucked in a pain-filled breath.
Even through his pain, he managed to take note of the crimson stain on my arm. “You’re hurt.”
“Yeah man, so are you.” The word ‘hurt’ underestimated the amount of blood pouring from the wounds in Dave’s side. “I’ve gotta get you back.” I glanced up bewilderedly. A hand stopped me with a weak squeeze. I gazed back down at my friend.
“It’s–it’s no use, Quinn,” he rasped out, pausing to wince as a wave of pain washed over him. “I wouldn’t be able to make it, and you can barely walk yourself.” Tears were beginning to drip down his cheeks, leaving muddy tracks as they ran through the dirt caked on his bruised face.
I felt my throat constrict. “No,” I replied firmly, willing away tears myself. Waves of emotion coursed through my veins.  I shook my head. “We went in this together, and we’re going out together, whether that means we get out alive or not. We’re staying together.”
I clumsily clambered it to my feet and, without another moment’s hesitation, reached out and hoisted Dave up with all my might. I was afraid for a moment that we might both topple back to the ground, but a sudden burst of adrenaline aided me in getting him up across my back and shoulders.
I swayed slightly under the weight of my comrade, but carried on.
“Quinn–”
“I don’t want to hear it, Dave,” I informed the soldier. “We’re in this together. I’ve got your back.”
“‘Til–’til the wheels fall off.” The whisper struck a chord in my heart. That was what we had promised each other, from the time we became best friends. We'd always be there for each other.
“Right,” I agreed thickly, a grunt following my words.
I trudged on for what felt like hours, Dave a dead weight on my back. I had no idea by now if he even was still breathing.
Perspiration was pouring down my face. I don’t recall ever praying as much as I did during that time.
“God, please,” I begged over and over. “Let us make it out of here alive. But if it’s Your will, let us be prepared to meet You.”
I tripped over something, maybe even my own booted feet, and crumpled to the ground, sucking in a tight breath as Dave landed atop me. I couldn't find the strength to move.
“I guess this is it, then,” I murmured, resigning myself to fate. I found Dave’s hand in our tangle of limbs and squeezed it. To my surprise, a small, tight squeeze returned mine. “‘Til the wheels fall off, man. Looks like they’re comin’ off now.”
Something between a snort and chuckle found its way out of Dave’s mouth at my words.
My eyes closed.
I wasn’t sure if I had fallen asleep or unconscious, but the next thing I remember is hearing shouts.
My head jerked up and through my blurry vision I saw them. Soldiers. On our side. They were here. We’d be safe now. Taken home. We’d be okay.
Unbidden tears began streaming down my cheeks as Dave and I were gathered up by our fellow soldiers. I made out one last whispered prayer before falling into a sweet, restful darkness. “Thank You.”





Okay, I think that's about it! I hope you all have wonderfully blessed Independence Day enjoying the freedom God has given us! HAPPY FOURTH!!!


~Livi Jane
















Saturday, July 2, 2016

Letters From a Soldier - Part Three

Hello, all!

So, life's been going pretty well. Busy, though!

First off, I am excited to announce that my step-cousin had her baby today!! Little Ansley Grace is adorable!

 Also, Camp NaNoWrimo started yesterday!! I had planned to pick up a story I had kinda dropped for about a month, but I have only managed to stare at a blank screen for over an hour... So, since I ended up being in the car today for 2+ hours, I took advantage of that time to write... And ended up with a short story that I did not intend to write! Haha. At least I'm building up my word count goal, even if I'm not actually working on the project I was hoping for!

Okay, so, here's the final letter! Hope you enjoy and are ready for the Fourth of July!! It's for sure one of my favorite holidays!! <3
(Did I mention the Fourth of July was one of my favorite holidays?)

Anyway, as I may have already said, I am super excited for the Fourth and will hopefully post a picture of my outfit for that day (A new dress I recently got that I LOVE. Patriotic colors and all). ;P
(And possibly other pictures... I honestly have no clue what we are doing for the Fourth XD.)

So... Without further ado, Letters From a Soldier - Part Three!


Dear Ma,
I hope this lettur fines you wel. I miss you an Pa an the rest of the famly.
We ar eating pretty wel. I try not to complane. Most the uther men do, except for me, Jack, and Danny. Jack don't even complane though he is still hurting from the bullet he got hit by in his arm las week.
We walkd all day today without hardly stoping to rest. I can not say how glad I am to be abul to sit down an rest now.
I think we will travel all day agin tomorow. Las week was the las battle we hav had, and I do not know when the next wil be. I do not like the blood or killing any mor than most of the men, but we do it any way. It is for a good cauz. Ther are some who laugh and cheer when ever they kill the enemy. I do not think it is very rite to be glad about ending a nuther mans life, even if you must do it for survivul.
I apoligize for my lettur being so short, but we are lo on paper. I thank Danny for helping me rite this lettur, as you know neither of us spell very wel.
I hope to git a long lettur bak from you soon. It passes the time and I would love to here from you.


From your loving son,
Austin J. Hampton


*Side historical note: Many (but not all, as seen in my first letter) boys and men in the army during the time of the Civil War could not read or write well. Many never went to school for more than a couple of years, if they went at all. The reason for my many misspelled and repeating words is to keep it as historically accurate as possible. :)


HAPPY EARLY FOURTH OF JULY!!

And although my post may end up being late, depending on if I have time to write it the next two days, I sure hope you will enjoy it!!!!!!


~Livi Jane